Mirage 1/72 M3 Grant Mk I Command Tank
|$16.98 (14.96 at Squadron)|
|Scott Van Aken|
|Includes small etched brass fret and metal parts|
The M3 Grant Mk.I was the British version of the US M3 Lee medium tank. When the British went to the US looking for weapons with which to fight the Germans, they were offered the M3 Lee, but they had to accept the same 75mm main gun as used by the US Army. The British were desperate for tanks so agreed, but requested a change in the turret. That was done and so the Grant can be easily told apart from the nearly identical Lee by the turret. Gone was the tertiary machine gun turret which also lowered the profile of the tank. Thanks to the rather limited range of motion of the main gun, the Grant was not used as a cruiser tank (the Crusader was used for this purpose), but used in what are known as assault squadrons and more than likely to be utilized as infantry support rather than going out and seeking tank to tank battle.
Mirage boxes this as a command tank, but in actuality, there is no difference in the parts over the previously released Mk1 Grant, so there is no reason to repeat everything said there, except that it is a superbly detailed little kit. There is one major exception. This kit includes a superbly done metal tank commander and machine gun (shown above with the etched metal fret). The commander is to be placed in the open hatch with the machine gun along side. There doesn't seem to be any support for this half figure, so you may have to put in a piece of plastic card to hold him up.
The kit also includes the usual metal fret for a grille and the inside of the various hatches, so it is a nice addition and will make what is already a well detailed kit even a bit more so.
Markings are provided for three different tanks. First is an overall Sand tank of the 1st Australian armored division in June of 1942. Next is another Aussie tank in a nice three colored scheme, similar to the box art, but with black outlining the colors. Finally, the box art tank from the Polish 2nd Armored Brigade in 1943. Like many of the Polish tanks, there are no markings. The decal sheet is well printed and the decals should go on without any problems.
I can see how this will become a very popular model. The detailing is super and there are enough possibilities in terms of markings to make just about anyone happy.
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